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Lichtenstein on the Street

Roy Lichtenstein: A Retrospective is, of course, at the Art Institute in our very own Regenstein Hall, but it also lives, in part, out on the street, where we can share it with Pop Art fans on the pavement and around the world.

We always love sharing fascinating tidbits from our latest exhibitions. What could be more fun than seeing a year’s worth of international air travel in just 57 seconds or debating the merits of dissolvable blue perfume? The large-scale and dynamic content of Lichtenstein’s work makes it even more exciting to see outside our doors, or should I say, beyond our lions?

Despite taking inspiration from pint-sized images like storybook illustrations and comic book panels, Lichtenstein often created works monumental in size, making it ideal to share his work in even larger formats. You may have noticed some of these large Lichtensteins around town. For our readers far afield, here are some ways Lichtenstein has been taking over the town:

Sometimes new light can be shed on a familiar artwork by seeing it in a different context. Confronting Whaam! amidst the inherent motion of the Chicago streets drew me straight into the action. Catching the eye of the red-haired woman in Ohhh...Alright… as she pulled away into traffic prompted me to take notice of her blank expression.

In fact, it was seeing Ohhh…Alright… isolated in this way that made me look beyond the immediate accessibility of Lichtenstein’s images—their bright colors and myriad references—to see the artist’s search for order, meaning, and self. After all, as Lichtenstein said, “I can’t make out the world, and it shows.”

Have you seen Lichtenstein images out and about in the city? Have your encounters with his works outside the gallery walls given you a new perspective on his iconic paintings?

—Tricia P., Public Affairs and Marketing